People's Choice: Museum treasures

How do you pick a favorite when you have nearly 1 million to chose from? These University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology staff members had no problems telling us which artifact from the museum’s collection they prize the most. Read on to see if your sentiments match.

GLORIA COLLINS
Receptionist

“The Sphinx is my favorite because he holds as a dominant figure; he sustains lower Egypt.”

JOHN C. HOVER
Trustee and Chairman, Museum Board of Overseers

“My personal favorite is the only Egyptian palace, Merneptah’s Palace.”

BETSY N. STRAW
Coordinator of Outreach

“One of my all time favorites object is the gutskin parka.”

IRENE BALD ROMANO
Co-curator, Etruscan and Roman Galleries

“My favorite piece is the center of the new Roman World Gallery (opening March 16), which is a double-sided marble block with an erased inscription honoring Emperor Domitian on one side and a relief showing members of the Praetorian Guard of the Emperor Trajan on the other side. In this single piece you have a demonstration of a bad emperor vs. a good emperor—the two faces of the Roman Empire.”

JANET MONGE
Keeper, Physical Antrhopology Section and Lecturer in Anthropology

“I love the infant mummy in the exhibition of secrets and sciences because its got 20,000 levels of analysis.”

JEREMY A. SABLOFF
Director

“My favorite piece is Stela 14. This is a piece from the classic Maya city of Piedras Negras in Guatemala. It played an important role in the decipherment of Maya hieroglyphics.”

PREMA DESHMUKH
Program Coordinator, International Classroom

“My favorite object is the [carved fan] from the Marquesas Islands because I have a friend who had a personal object that we were able to identify as resembling the carved fan handle that is displayed at the museum.”

GILLIAN WAKELY
Associate Director for Programs

“I personally like the wooden Bodhisattva figurine because it is serene and timelessly elegant.”

WALDA METCALF
Director of Publications

“I like the silver lyre because it was the fruit of a cooperative expedition to the site of Ur, Iraq, and because I am an ethnomusicologist and the lyre is a musical instrument.”

—Wei Ming Yen Dorado

Next issue’s question: If you were booking movies for The Bridge, what films would you show? Got an answer? E-mail us at current@pobox.upenn.edu or call 215-898-1426.

Originally published on November 14, 2002